Its happened again!!!!
It was another beautiful day in Africa we were just about to go for a
when a landrover pulled up giving us 12 hours to get off. Now as you
know this time last year we were trashed and looted then booted so we
been through this before. We knew Biri had a section 8 so we have
expecting it but it always happens when you least expect it. So we
to pack up. Beryl my 73 year old mother was with us, she couldn't
understand the commotion and was outraged that anyone should expect her
pack in 12 hours. Our foreman was concerned that we were not packing
enough. He explained to me that he had heard Chanestsa wanted Biri and
we were not out of there soon we would have to bear the consequences.
packed for our lives but where was it all to go at such short notice.
checked on Mum she was now in her blue nurses uniform struggling to put
epaulettes on. Mum you should be packing what are you doing? Well I
it in a suitcase and I am making sure it still fits. We eventually
most of the stuff and left the farm by 12. Chanestsa and his
arrived at 2 thank goodness we were not about. They allowed us
Monday to collect the rest of our stuff, unfortunately for Janee
lives next door
pandemonium took over. Her labour decided they
would not pack anything
until they had received a full package so Janee and
her family were
barricaded in the house. Fortunately they managed to escape
and Pat picked
them up at the dam otherwise they would have had a really
night in an empty house. The horses have been moved to the
dogs will go to town and then rest of us are looking for
somewhere to stay.
we have furniture piled to the roof in the church hall and
houses baskets all over Gaydia's lawn and its just chaos. While
packing Pat said to stick white labels on the very important things
must go first so I went around with two off our workers putting the
on bits of furniture. Then when I had finished Albert one of the
picked up a lable and stuck it on his chest showing me he was
and must come too. I started to cry .
The magnitude of the September 11 memorial overshadowed
everything yesterday. What an extraordinary commemoration that was at Ground
Zero. I felt battered by emotion at the end of it so I can't imagine what the
American people felt. I was horrified to hear last night that COSATU had chosen
this day to have a protest about US foreign policy outside the American embassy
- can anything be more crass and unfeeling than that?
Our workers are still not working and there have been further
shut downs in the district. The powers-that-be have obviously realised
that eviction notices are not working so now they are forcing the labour to stay
away. Our guys came yesterday and asked if Andy could go and ask the Police if
they could go back to work. Permission will NOT be sought (or granted, even if
we were prepared to do so!) Copies of Statutory Instrument 6 were dropped at the
compound yesterday. This lays down the Terminal Benefits and Entitlements of
Agricultural Employees Affected by Compulsory Acquisition. It states that,
should you have to terminate employment due to your farm being compulsorily
acquired, you have to pay these benefits which may be deducted from the
compensation paid to your for your permanent improvements if you can't pay them
before. The crux of the matter is, of course, that a) we have no intention of
terminating any employment since we went to the high court and won, setting
aside the Compulsory Acquisition Order and
b) I do not know anyone who has received any compensation for
compulsorily acquired farms and every day we hear that Govt has no intention of
paying out a thing.
The benefit package is quite something:
Severance pay equal to 3 months wages.
One month's wages in lieu of notice.
A relocation fee (more than a month's wages)
A gratuity equal to two month's wages for every year
Leave pay due.
If every worker has only worked on year it amounts to about 8
month's wages. For us the package would be many millions - we have had one
tobacco sale so are nowhere NEAR paying off our overdraft. I somehow don't see
the bank manager releasing the necessary amount. Funnily enough, at the end of
the regulations it states that you can then re-hire your workers on a contract
basis. The workers have to pay income tax on this amount and usually have to
hand over 25 - 30% to the Unions. Unfortunately, the workers don't get told the
small print or the provisions from the employer's side - they are told that
your MOVABLE assets can be seized in lieu of payment.
Poor Ian and Jo Cochrane and their family have had a terrible
4 days. They have been barricaded in their house which is not an unusual
occurrence in Zimbabwe but in this instance there have been arms involved. Dave
Mostert, reacting to the situation was ambushed and had a round go through his
side window - it missed him by 6 inches he reckons. When weapons are involved,
the ball game changes and becomes very frightening. Ian, Jo, his sister
Jenny and his mother, Thea, have had to evacuate. About 10 people in brown
uniform (not standard military kit) brandishing shotguns are in the
We have just had 4 louts at the gate wanting to know if the
domestics are working. Andy went out with the camera which was on the last 2
frames and then had to dash in to get the other one. They were saying "Kockott,
no pictures!! No Pictures!!" They took off down the road and we got in the
vehicle and went after them to get a few more. They were apparently the local
warvets and have gone to the compound to have a "meeting". Gill Moolman has a
crowd at her gate but luckily she has gone to Harare. Leith and Debbie have been
told the warvets are on their way so we will see what happens.S.K.
JAG to sue government for $20 billion
9/12/02 3:15:08 AM (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO - Justice for Agriculture
(JAG), a pressure group
representing hundreds of Zimbabwean white farmers
evicted from their
properties by the government, this week said it is suing
the state for
compensation for losses estimated at more than $20
JAG spokeswoman Jannie Williams said the compensation
losses of stolen assets and earnings for both farm owners and
The group estimated the losses at more than $20 billion,
noting that some farmers had been forced to flee their properties
equipment and belongings by invaders, most of them supporters of
Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF.
Since the land
invasions began in Zimbabwe's commercial farming
two-and-a-half years ago, many of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white
have been prevented from farming, partly triggering the
Last month the government ordered 2 900 of the farmers to
properties and hand them over to blacks under its controversial
Many of the farmers have refused to obey the
evictions, although they
have fled their properties into the sanctuary of
urban areas. About 300
farmers have been arrested for defying the
Williams would not say exactly when the suit would be
"We are focused on seeking a clear
way forward on the land issue in
Zimbabwe through the judiciary and the
courts while exposing the
inadequacies and corruption in the current system,"
"The process of suing for compensation is on and we are
fielding a group action with a view of suing for losses for owners
employees. We are consulting widely over this issue but I can't furnish
with more details at the moment."
Under its reforms, the
government says it is paying compensation for
improvements made on the farms
such as houses and water reservoirs but not
for the land itself. But even
then, it has failed to pay the part
compensation to virtually all the farmers
it has already ordered expelled.
Displaced farm workers face starvation
Gwaze Staff Reporter
9/12/02 3:14:05 AM (GMT +2)
150 000 farm workers who lost their jobs last month when the
ordered hundreds of white farmers to stop farming now face
starvation as they
have only about three weeks of food supplies left,
according to a survey by
the privately-run Zimbabwe Community Development
The ZCDT is a Harare-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) which
shelter and food mostly to the former farm workers, as well as to
displaced by political violence.
Anglican church priest and ZCDT
executive director Tim Neill this week
said the survey on the plight of farm
workers had been conducted last month
on 3 200 white-owned farms across
Since last month the government has stepped up pressure
on 2 900 white
farmers to leave their properties after the expiry of its
on August 8.
About 300 farmers have been
arrested in the past few weeks for
refusing to obey the government's
evictions, while others have complied with
it. But many are refusing to quit
their farms to make way for landless
blacks, most of them government
Farming operations have nonetheless stopped at nearly
country's commercial farms after most farmers escaped to the safety
areas, leaving their workers stranded on the farms with no work or
Neill said: "Half the number of farm workers
had food to last them
only for less than three months since the August 8
deadline and this means
that between the end of September and mid-October
there will be a new group
of people facing starvation."
are a total 350 000 farm workers, each of whom on average
supports about five
Neill said President Robert Mugabe's home province of
West, which in the past has witnessed some of the worst violence
commercial farms, had the highest number or about a third of the
workers threatened with hunger.
The government has promised
to resettle the farm workers, together
with landless villagers, under its
controversial land reforms but to date
only about one percent of the farm
hands have been resettled. Most of these
Niell said some of the farm workers had fled hunger on
the farms and
gone into Harare and other cities, where NGOs were helping them
But several thousands more were still on
the farms, surviving on the
little food reserves they were left with when the
farmers fled or on the
meagre retrenchment packages they had been
He said his organisation had been overstretched beyond its
that it was now finding it difficult to continue providing food to
"We are only capable of providing food to
400 families and this is a
short-term solution which does not offer them a
breakpoint and neither does
it provide a movement towards a developmental
approach," Neill said.
Six million other Zimbabweans need emergency
food aid from
international donors or they could starve to death after poor
season and the government's disruptive land reforms cut food
more than 60 percent.
Neill said his agency was
appealing to donors for funds to buy seed
packs for the farm workers so they
could grow crops this season.
But he said the ZCDT's work was being
hampered by state security
agents, who in the past have arrested the
organisation's officials on
allegations that they were training "terrorists"
at the shelter camps they
run for displaced Zimbabweans.
Zim to benefit from UK firm's AIDS, malaria drug price
9/12/02 3:09:09 AM (GMT
ZIMBABWE is one of several sub-Saharan countries eligible to
from international pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmith-Kline's price
last week of its preferential not-for-profit HIV/AIDS and malaria
The United Kingdom-based company has slashed its
for HIV/AIDS drugs by up to 33 percent and for malaria by
up to 38 percent
to try to improve health care in the developing
Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) has been offering preferential
vaccines to least developed and sub-Saharan countries for more
than 20 years
and for anti-retrovirals since 1997.
HIV/AIDS drugs whose cost has been reduced from September 5
whose price has fallen by 25 percent to US$1.20 or $66 per
day on the
official Zimbabwean foreign exchange market.
600-milli-gramme dose of the drug would however cost more than
parallel market rates.
The drug combivir will now cost US$1.70
($93.50 at the official
exchange rate or $1 020 at the parallel market rate)
per day, a 15 percent
reduction, while trizivir will now sell for US$4.45
($244.45 or $2 670) per
day, a 33 percent reduction.
medicines whose prices have been cut are malarone, which now
($660 or $7 200) per day and halfan, now selling at US$1.40 ($77
or $840) for
"We are delivering on our commitment to review prices
essential medicines for patients in 63 of the world's poorest
GSK chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier said.
are also expanding our existing initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa
appropriate ways to offer not-for-profit prices to core public
as teachers, nurses, police and fire-fighters not covered by
insurance, and to private employers who do not have their own
GlaxoSmithKline customers eligible for last week's price
are the public sector, non-governmental organisations, aid
Nations agencies and employers in sub-Saharan Africa who
offer HIV/AIDS care
and treatment to their staff through workplace
Least developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola,
Lesotho and sub-Saharan states including Botswana, Namibia,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe are also eligible.
financed by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria and
tuberculosis will also
be eligible for the preferential prices. Zimbabwe is
among the countries set
to benefit from the Global Fund.
Only about 30 000 of the 28.5
million people in Africa infected with
the virus that causes AIDS are
estimated to receive drug treatment because
of the prohibitive costs
involved, resulting in a higher death rate on the
continent than in developed
countries, where AIDS is now classified as a
chronic disease such as
In Zimbabwe, access to HIV/AIDS medicines has also been
the fact that the drugs are mostly available in the private
sector and by
the severe foreign currency shortages in the country.
Govt owed $100 billion
By Sydney Masamvu
9/12/02 3:04:01 AM (GMT +2)
government is battling to recover a staggering $100
billion it spent on the
four-year war in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) which has
contributed to Zimbabwe's economic crisis, government
officials said this
The size of the debt, almost a third of this year's national
was disclosed during a heated meeting between a DRC ministerial
and Zimbabwean government officials held at the Zimbabwean resort
Nyanga two weeks ago.
Official sources told the
Financial Gazette this week that the meeting
between the two allies in the
DRC war was tense and dealt with the recovery
of the billions of dollars
Zimbabwe spent on the war effort to prop up the
"The Zimbabwe government is owed about $100 billion by the DRC on the
effort and we still have not made any meaningful progress to recover
cost," one official who attended the meeting said.
which deployed 10 000 soldiers in the DRC to fight off
the Tutsi rebellion in
August 1998, has been footing a large chunk of the
Zimbabwe Defences Forces military equipment worth billions of dollars
been destroyed in the war, which sucked in six countries in the Great
Billions of dollars were also spent by Harare to buy arms
and air power from Russia.
The national airline, Air
Zimbabwe, is also owed US$4 million ($220
million) by Congolese national
airliner Lignes Airlines Congolais.
However, according to the
sources, the government has not benefited
directly from the war in the DRC,
save for individual ruling ZANU PF
investigators have previously alleged that some Cabinet
influential ZANU PF politicians and some army generals had
immensely in their individual capacities through diamond sales and
concessions held by a company called Operation Sovereign
Authoritative government sources say none of
the proceeds from these
deals have found their way into the state's coffers
and the government is
now making frantic efforts to recover its costs
following the DRC ceasefire.
The costs of the war effort were
supposed to be recovered through
joint ventures between Zimbabwe and the DRC,
but most of these have failed
to take off in the past three
Some of the ventures still on the cards include timber
mining, agriculture and preferential energy imports.
The sources said former finance minister Simba Makoni grappled with
ministerial delegation in Nyanga two weeks ago to force it into
accords that would help Zimbabwe to recover at least some of the
through preferential trade.
The agreements signed relate to
payments and offsetting of debts,
avoidance of double taxation, preferential
trade, bilateral investment
promotion and protection, movement of persons and
information, Press and
Makoni, who has resigned
from the government, yesterday declined to
disclose the amount owed by the
DRC to Zimbabwe, saying he was not in a
position to do so since he was no
longer a government member.
His successor Herbert Murerwa, who was
also part of the Nyanga
delegation, could not be reached for comment because
he is in Libya.
Industry and International Trade Ministry permanent
Comberbach declined to comment on the matter, saying he was
not privy to the
details of the debt, which he said was being handled by a
Eugenia Ntumba, the second
secretary at the DRC embassy in Harare,
said she was not in a position yet to
disclose her country's arrears to
She said a
government panel working on the issue was still discussing
But official sources said army commander Vitalis
Zvinavashe, who was
at the Nyanga meeting, pressed for the recent removal of
They said he reminded the
Congolese delegation that when Zimbabwean
soldiers entered the DRC in 1998 to
quell the Tutsi rebellion that was
backed by Rwanda, they were not asked for
The DRC team had insisted on keeping the visa restriction,
scrapped under one of the agreements signed last
Zimbabwe's involvement in the DRC war is partly blamed for
Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, shown out by rampant inflation,
currency shortages that are threatening the economy, company closures
soaring joblessness and poverty.
The economy is forecast to
contract at least 11 percent this year, its
worst performance since
independence two decades ago.
The government has also failed to
raise $160 billion to fund its
controversial agrarian reforms and US$380
million for food imports to feed
six million Zimbabweans, or half the
population, facing starvation because
of a poor rainy season and the land
'Green Bombers' jailed for attack on woman
9/12/02 3:10:05 AM (GMT +2)
KAROI - Two
national youth service graduates, also known as Green
Bombers, were this week
jailed for assaulting a woman here who wore
Provincial magistrate William Bhila jailed the two youths
Gurira, 22, and Robson Saidi, 24 - for seven months each, but
three months of each youth's sentence for five years on condition
The unemployed youths, both graduates of the
Border Gezi National
Youth Service Training Centre, approached 21-year-old
Media Nyatsunga at the
Karoi town council guest house and, in the style of
the notorious Taliban
religious police, interrogated her charging that she
Zimbabwe's culture by wearing tight-fitting
When the frightened Nyatsunga responded that she did not
wrong with her clothing, they manhandled her, ordering her to
roll on the
ground while they poured cold water all over her
In their joint defence, Gurira and Saidi said they assaulted
because "we have been trained to instil discipline among
their national pride".
The government is accused
of conscripting desperate and unemployed
youths into its controversial
national youth service and brainwashing them
to become blind and violent
zealots of the ruling ZANU PF party.
The government denies the
charge, saying national youth service is
vital to instil discipline and
patriotism among youths.
It says it will soon enact legislation
making it mandatory for all
school-leavers to undergo the programme before
being enrolled in colleges
and universities or being employed by state
Govt set to abolish FCAs, make rate cut
Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
9/12/02 3:06:02 AM (GMT
THE government is expected to decide on new measures to plug
of foreign currency from the economy, including the liquidation of
foreign currency accounts (FCAs), in the coming weeks, although analysts
such a move is likely to face stiff resistance from top
blacklisted under European and US sanctions.
Official sources yesterday said an agreement had already been reached
principle to tighten the screws on the use of foreign currency and that
final say is expected to come from the Cabinet, which will deliberate on
new measures in the next few weeks.
One of the measures likely to
be taken is the withdrawal of corporate
and individual FCAs, whose owners the
government blames for partly fuelling
the shortage of hard cash.
"The reasoning is that we cannot afford to have FCAs when the country
and surviving from hand-to-mouth with regards foreign currency," one
told the Financial Gazette.
No comment was available from the
central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
Analysts however said
the proposed liquidation could be resisted by
senior government and ruling
ZANU PF party officials who have been forced to
move funds held in offshore
accounts back to Zimbabwe in the wake of
targeted sanctions imposed by the
European Union, the US and other Western
governments on Zimbabwe's political
"These individuals would not want their FCAs to be
an economist with a commercial bank.
faces a severe fuel crisis and has regularly defaulted on its
commitments such as debt repayments and fuel imports.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) was yesterday expected to
to withdraw Zimbabwe's voting rights as punishment for the
to settle mounting arrears on its commitments to the Fund.
Zimbabwe's arrears to the IMF stood at more than US$135 million at the
July this year.
"There is also talk of widening the price controls
by increasing the
number of products on the controlled list," another source
The government last year imposed a freeze on prices of
commodities such as sugar, soap, agricultural inputs, bread and
flour and it
is understood the list will now be extended to cover other
The sources said former finance minister Simba Makoni had
previous attempts to liquidate FCAs and impose a blanket freeze on
The new measures being mooted would also
include a further reduction
in interest rates, currently hovering around 30
Meanwhile foreign currency dealers yesterday described
the market as reminiscent of the 1980s command economy when all
for hard cash had to be approved by the RBZ.
said conditions in the market had tightened in the past few
weeks, with all
export proceeds being remitted to the RBZ immediately
compared to the
previous situation where exporters kept 60 percent of their
hard cash for a
few days minus the 40 percent that was immediately remitted
to the central
Zimbabwean exporters are required to surrender 40 percent of
hard cash earnings to the RBZ, which then allocates the money to
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and the National Oil Company
Zimbabwe for power and fuel imports.
"We have been instructed
not to bother applying to the Reserve Bank on
behalf of our clients for forex
for any other use except for medical
emergencies," a currency dealer at a
Harare-based commercial bank said
Maputo detains Zimbabwe wheat
9/12/02 3:04:53 AM (GMT +2)
AUTHORITIES of the
port city of Maputo in Mozambique are withholding
22 000 tonnes of wheat
destined for famine-hit Zimbabwe pending payment of
handling fees owed by the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe milling
industry officials said this
The officials said the Mozambicans are demanding cash upfront
foreign currency before the wheat, which arrived in Maputo last week,
Deliveries of the wheat, which will last Zimbabwe
up to four weeks,
were supposed to have started at the beginning of this
"The wheat was supposed to start arriving on Monday but there
problem with handling fees at the port which are yet to be paid,"
official of a Zimbabwe milling firm told the Financial
"The wheat might come after next week depending on how the
resolves the issue. But they have assured us that they are doing their
to bring in the product."
It was not possible this week to
ascertain how much the Mozambicans
are owed by the government-owned GMB,
which has a monopoly in importing and
distributing wheat and maize, the two
staples that are critically short in
This is not
the first time that Zimbabwe has failed to pay handling
Last month, a ship carrying fuel from Libya was docked
at Beira port
for a week after Mozambique's BP refused to allow the fuel to
into its tanks.
The Mozambican firm wanted the
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe,
another state firm, to settle more than
US$3 million in outstanding charges
for previous usage of the storage
facilities and handling fees before the
fuel could be offloaded.
GMB's acting chief executive Joan Mtukwa said she could not comment on
matter without permission from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was said to be in
meetings the whole
day yesterday and could not be contacted on his mobile
An official at the trade section of Mozambique's Harare
declined to be named said she was not aware of Zimbabwe's failure
to pay the
There was also uncertainty this week
on the exact amount of wheat that
has been imported by the GMB, with some
millers saying only 19 000 tonnes
had been secured.
government has not said where it is buying the wheat,
officials said it had most likely been secured from
Argentina, the world's
cheapest source of the grain.
Bakers' Association of Zimbabwe
chairman Armitage Chikwavira this week
would not comment on the delay of the
wheat imports and referred all
questions to the GMB.
industry officials said the withholding of wheat by the
worsen the bread crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe in the
Bakers said the country's flour supplies had reached
and further delays in the arrival of wheat imports would
result in remaining
flour stocks drying up.
Shortage sees cars line up for petrol in
state promises new supplies after signing deal with Libya
HARARE Long lines
of cars waiting for petrol returned yesterday to the
streets of Harare, but
the government said the new fuel shortages would end
soon because of a new
oil deal with Libya.
Zimbabwe's previous fuel deal with Libya expired on
President Robert Mugabe flew to Libya on Saturday for a
visit with Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi before heading to
New York for a
meeting of the United Nations' general assembly, state media
The state-run Herald newspaper said Finance Minister Herbert
a $360m deal on Monday in Tripoli to ship fuel supplies to the
devastated southern African country for the next year. Private
executives have questioned how Zimbabwe, facing its worst
since independence in 1980, will honour its side of the
Part of the cost will be met by Zimbabwe's beef, tobacco and fruit
Libya will also receive investments in Zimbabwean mining, tourism
agriculture, the newspaper reported.
Libya already holds a 12%
stake in Zimbabwe's third-largest bank, the
state-controlled Commercial Bank
of Zimbabwe. SA's Absa bank holds another
More than half of
Zimbabwe's 12,5-million people face severe food shortages,
blamed on drought
and the government's programme to seize 95% of white-owned
Production of tobacco, the biggest hard currency earner, is
expected to be
halved next season due to disruptions in the agriculturebased
disruptions have led to the slaughter of thousands of cattle,
glut of beef expected to be followed by shortages later in the
Meanwhile, a white farmer exchanged gunfire on Tuesday with ruling
militants who shot at his homestead and tried to force him off his
No one was hurt. Farmer Ian Cochrane fired
eight shots into the ground and
some shots over the heads of militants
surrounding the homestead in the
Three of the
attackers were armed with pump-action shotguns and a rifle and
accompanied by about 50 militants who barricaded Cochrane and his
inside the farm yard, said neighbour Alan Parsons. Police
dispersing the attackers who moved away in trucks to adjacent
Sep 12 2002 12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st
Speculation Over Fuel Causes Panic Buying, Long Queues
September 12, 2002
Posted to the web September 12,
SPECULATION that the country has
been hit by a new round of fuel shortages
has sparked unnecessary panic
buying by motorists, leading to long queues at
some service stations in
However, the Government and other stakeholders in the oil
assured the nation that fuel supplies are still normal and
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Amos Midzi,
there were adequate fuel supplies in the country following the
the US$360 million financing facility with the Libyan Arab Foreign
He said his ministry and the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe were also
working on other financing arrangements, which would
guarantee fuel supply
for the foreseeable future.
"I would therefore
like to urge the public, motorists and all stakeholders
in the oil industry
not to panic and hoard fuel so as to avoid unnecessary
"My ministry will continue to put in place strategies to
of fuel supplies in the country," said Minister
Noczim, he said, was also addressing logistical problems
fuel deliveries to service stations, with the assistance of
Railways of Zimbabwe and Bulk Fuel Transporters.
survey conducted by The Herald in and around Harare yesterday
that most garages were receiving their normal fuel supplies.
were long queues at some filling stations in the city centre,
was normal at most service stations out of town.
At most of these service
stations there were no queues at all.
A petrol attendant at BP Shell
Service Station along Samora Machel Avenue
confirmed that they were receiving
normal fuel supplies.
He, however, said people were now buying in bulk
for fear that there might
be fuel shortages this week.
queues that are seen here, are there because these people want to
fuel," he said.
Another petrol attendant at Mwamuka filling station in
Mbare also said the
fuel supplies were normal.
A representative of
Royal Oil Services Zimbabwe, a group of indigenous
business people involved
in the oil industry, in a telephone interview from
London said his
organisation had managed to secure at least 100 000 metric
tonnes of diesel
He assured the indigenous business people who operate
omnibuses that there
would be no fuel shortages in the country. "People
should not panic because
we have adequate fuel supplies," he
Zimbabwe and Libya signed a trade, investment and fuel supply
early this week that will ensure constant fuel supplies to the
African country for another year. The new agreement is effective
September next year.
President will attempt dialogue on
CAPE TOWN President Thabo Mbeki would use the United Nations
assembly this week to try to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe with
Commonwealth colleagues, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said
The so-called Commonwealth troika comprising Mbeki, Nigerian
Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard agreed
this year to the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth as a
a flawed election. It also decided to attempt to promote dialogue
the parties in Zimbabwe in a bid to get a rerun of the
Pahad said if the three leaders were at the general assembly at
time, it was expected that they would try to meet and discuss a way
a solution to the "situation in Zimbabwe" according to the
mandate. "There is an economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the food
quite dramatic, tensions are still very high."
government have insisted in recent months that any SA action in
would not be unilateral but would be in terms of the
organisations it belonged to, such as the Commonwealth and the
African Development Community.
Pahad said that there was no
Continued on Page 2New oil deal with Libya: Page 7
plan of action for Zimbabwe and any meeting would be
about putting pressure
on the country for the implementation of the original
He said land reform in Zimbabwe had to be orderly and defined by
the rule of
"We must ensure that the principle of willing buyer,
willing seller becomes
SA's high commissioner in Harare,
Jerry Ndou, was helping South Africans
under threat of dispossession as much
as was possible.
Pressure was being increased for the successful
conclusion of an investment
protection agreement with Zimbabwe.
are very keen that this agreement gets signed very quickly because it
give SA investors some form of legal protection.
"But in the end it
depends when you have signed this agreement whether they
This was in sharp contrast to the views of Deputy President Jacob
said SA could not simply go to Zimbabwe and say: "Why are you
this particular farmer?"
Asked by Democratic Alliance MP
Andries Botha why France, the Netherlands
and Germany were able to intercede
on behalf their nationals, Zuma replied:
"We have a problem because you want
us to emulate France, Germany. We can't.
"It is very clear we cannot help
you. We cannot go to Zimbabwe and tell the
Zimbabweans do this and don't do
that. It is not our duty."
Sep 12 2002 12:00:00:000AM Wyndham Hartley
Business Day 1st Edition
What is so unique about being African?
9/12/02 8:57:07 AM (GMT +2)
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and
Namibia's Sam Nujoma struck a very
uniquely discordant note at the recent
Earth Summit in Johannesburg when
they castigated virtually all European
Union (EU) government leaders in
general but Britain's Prime Minister, Tony
Blair, and US President George W
Bush, in particular, for their criticism of
It must have
surprised the conveners of the summit that the two
leaders were so
vociferous and undiplomatic in their defence of Zimbabwe's
chaotic land reform programme because it had been generally
Zimbabwe's land reform campaign was not on the agenda at the
In Zimbabwe, the State-controlled media had repeatedly
it would be unacceptable for the British government to raise
deplorable land acquisition
and distribution campaign as
an issue at the conference.
Doing so would have been regarded by
Mugabe as a provocation of
Zimbabwe, and a violation of its sovereignty. The
impression was that if
Zimbabwe was to be discussed, it would have been on
the sidelines of the
summit and certainly not from the podium, least of all
by Mugabe himself and
his unwavering ally, Nujoma.
That it was
uncalled for at such a forum to try and defend Zimbabwe
against criticism by
the Western world is, I strongly believe, obvious to
anyone who understands
the world of international diplomacy. One should
never make venomous and
vitriolic speeches in such fora because such tirades
are by and large full of
emotion and utterly devoid of vision. That was
obvious, for instance, in the
addresses by both Mugabe and Nujoma.
For his part, Mugabe told
Blair to keep his Britain, and let him keep
what he termed "my
Mugabe went on to say that Zimbabweans were not
Africans, words which were repeated by Nujoma more or less in
the same form.
The message in the speeches of both leaders was that
as Africans we
have a unique socio-economic culture different from that of
The questions we should ask are: What is unique about being
What right have we to tell the world not to criticise us when we
our national economies and then appeal to the world for material
including food, which we should be producing in our own
Are we, in effect, being told that failure to manage
economies properly is a part
of the national sovereignty of
Africa, and must, therefore, not be
criticised by non-Africans?
If that is the case, those African leaders espousing this utterly
policy are leading their respective nations to absolute doom.
should appreciate that it is through criticism that progress and
are made on every kind of product and service.
Anyone who detests
criticism is seriously intellectually challenged.
The government of
Zimbabwe is not being criticised for simply
implementing a land reform
The Zanu PF government is being criticised for
carrying out the
programme in such a disorderly, chaotic way that the
productivity and social life have been most severely
affected. No sane
person would oppose the resettlement of communities on
That was what the liberation
struggle was all about. But that
resettlement should be carried out in such a
way that the country's
agricultural productivity should be enhanced rather
That fact should be emphasised to every Zanu PF
including the party's most shameless liars and
We have been told that "Zimbabwe will never be a
colony again". Which
country has ever said that it would like to recolonise
If there is such a scheme, the nation is entitled to know
facts pertaining to it because Zimbabwe belongs to all Zimbabweans
to an individual, whatever his traditional, social, political, or
status in the country.
But I, for one, do not think
that in this day and age there is any
nation that wishes to convert Zimbabwe
into its colony.
However, I stand to be corrected by the provision
evidence to the
political leaders of Zimbabwe, including Mugabe himself,
have a duty to make
peace not only within the country, but with other
It is thus extremely unsettling that during the past
Mugabe's speeches have all been accusatory. He has been
pointing fingers at
Britain, accusing it of supporting the MDC.
Meanwhile, he has been flying to and from Libya so frequently that
help but wonder whether or not some of the trips and
not be effectively carried out by either an ordinary Cabinet
minister or by
Surely, Mugabe can delegate some
minister to handle Zimbabwe's
relations with Libya,
to negotiate and
finalise deals with that country.
Libya now owns controlling shares
in the Jewel Bank whose chief
executive officer, Gideon Gono, appears to be
one of Zanu PF's blue-eyed
It is important to avoid
identifying oneself racially, or one's
friends on that basis because that
indirectly reflects a cultural weakness
in one's personality and social
In any case, talking so much about one being African is as
claiming that one is Zimbabwean on the strength of the colour of
One can claim to be African on the basis of having been
born on the
African continent, or on the basis of being ethnically negroid,
or Khoi. The former is the basis upon which the vast majority of
nations claim their citizenship - territorial or
geographical boundaries as opposed to one's ethnic
Mugabe and Nujoma sound as if they are suggesting thatpeople of
extraction should not criticise people of African ethnic origin.
also sound as if they would like to see all people of white
pigmentation expelled from Africa.
If that is not downright
racialism, then nothing is. The Zimbabwean
of international criticism because it is violating
and protocols on human rights, and is perceived to
be treating some of the
country's white citizens and residents unjustly,
mainly because they do not
support the political party in government.
It is important for
Mugabe and Nujoma to know and accept that we have
today white and yellow
Africans (people who were born on the African
continent), just as we have
black and yellow Europeans (people born on the
That was why there were black people in the English,
and Dutch World Cup soccer teams the last time the soccer
held in South Korea and Japan.
That experience should
have taught Mugabe and Nujoma that today's
nations are cosmopolitan and not
mono-ethnic, let alone mono-tribal.
The socio-economic problems
facing Zimbabwe were in no way created by
say nothing of
the United States. While drought is certainly one of
the factors, it is
clearly not the major cause of the crisis tearing the
country apart. The
major cause of trouble in Zimbabwe today is the
haphazard, lawless and
selfish manner in which Mugabe
and his team of yes-men (whom he
ironically describes as "amadoda
sibili"), govern the country.
If drought were the main cause of the shortage of such commodities as
maize-meal, cooking oil, table salt and various types of seed,
Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique would be facing
problems because they were
affected by the same drought as Zimbabwe,
but they do not have such
The people of
Zimbabwe should accept one fundamental fact about their
social, political and
economic problems. It is that they are all
home-brewed, and that their
solution must be home-developed.
The Commonwealth and the EU can
only supplement the efforts
Zimbabweans themselves are making to regain their
individual and collective
Building societies hike mortgage interest
9/12/02 8:44:55 AM (GMT +2)
MORTGAGE interest rates have been raised again as building
grapple to strike a balance between retaining customers through
rates and maintaining reasonble profit margins in Zimbabwe's
Over the past two weeks major building
societies, including Beverly
Building Society, Intermarket Building Society,
the Central African Building
Society and Zimbabwe Building Society, announced
hikes in their mortgage
The building societies
pegged rates for residential properties between
28,5 percent and 31,5 percent
per annum, and 35 percent to 40 percent per
annum for commercial
properties.Interest rates for commercial properties.
will attract mortgage interest rates ranging from 35
percent to 38
In an interview, Beverly Building Society's general
Moyo, attributed the rates increases to the pressures
occasioned by the
difficult macro-economic pressures.
"The increase in mortgage interest rates was necessitated by
the increase in
the cost of funds. We have actually been running short of
funds as a result
of those increased costs of securing financial resources.
reduces any building society's capacity to lend because
deposit rates cease
to be attractive."
He predicted that if inflation levels remained
high then mortgage
interest rates would continue to soar. "The frequency of
at all times on the cost of funds.
inflation remains high, it will mean that the cost of funds will
rise and accordingly, building societies will be forced to
rates in order to maintain viability in business," said
The new rates at the Central African Building Society and at the
Building Society came into effect on 1 July 2002. Intermarket
Society will apply the new rates and the Beverly Building Society
take effect on 1 November 2002.
Prices on the property market have
been on the increase in Zimbabwe
over the past two years and the latest rise
in mortgage interest rates is
likely to worsen the plight of prospective home
Judge orders return of deported Libyan spy
9/12/02 8:37:34 AM (GMT +2)
Susan Mavangira of the High Court has granted a provisional
Elasto Mugwadi, the chief immigration officer, to
immediately facilitate the
return of Yousef Murgham, the former Libyan spy
deported for allegedly
compromising State security.
In her judgment delivered on 28
August but made available yesterday,
Mavangira gave Mugwadi 10 days to file
opposing papers in the matter.
If he fails to do so within the
specified time, the court would hear
the matter as being unopposed for
confirmation of the order.
Murgham, a former counsellor and
intelligence officer at the Libyan
Embassy in Harare, was deported last
month. He was alleged to have been
assigned by the Central Intelligence
Organisation to assassinate opposition
MDC leader Morgan
It is alleged that Murgham was supposed to carry out
the deed some
time before the March presidential election, controversially
President Mugabe and disputed by the MDC as highly
Mavangira said: "Murgham be and is hereby allowed to
enter and remain
in this country and Mugwadi be and is hereby restricted from
Murgham pending the determination of this matter.
"That Mugwadi be and is hereby ordered to facilitate the return of
this country and to pay the costs incidental to Murgham's return
While Murgham obtained the interim relief in the court,
Jonathan Samkange yesterday said he had failed to contact him
deportation three weeks ago.
Samkange said: "His
whereabouts are not known. Even his wife, Jean,
does not know where he
He said he would soon contact Mugwadi to find out whether
Murgham reportedly became a
target for deportation because he was
being accused by the Libyan ambassador
in Zimbabwe, Mahmoud Youseff Azzabi,
of leaking an alleged sex scandal story
to The Standard newspaper early this
year, involving the ambassador himself
and a Zimbabwean, Janet Mutasa, who
worked for the embassy.
its story in January, The Standard said Azzabi allegedly cajoled
giving in to his demands for oral sex for a period of about two
allegation Azzabi has denied.
Murgham left behind his Zimbabwean
wife, Jean, 39, daughter Samia,12
and son Mohammed, 8. Jean said her husband
was a staunch Zanu PF supporter
who negotiated the current deal for fuel for
Zimbabwe from Libya.
She said Murgham came to Zimbabwe in 1986 as a
counsellor at the
Libyan Embassy, but resigned from the government in 1983
and preferred to
remain in Zimbabwe.
UN complains over impounded goods
8:32:00 AM (GMT +2)
By Henry Makiwa
Nations has formally complained to the Zimbabwean
government after the police
raided a Harare house on Saturday, where the
organisation has been storing
food for its local employees.
The UN employs more than 1
000 workers in Zimbabwe. The police
reportedly accused some UN officials of
hoarding basic commodities such as
wheat, maize-meal and sugar while the
country is facing a crippling food
Festo Kavishe, a
representative of United Nations Children's Fund,
yesterday said they had
written a letter of complaint to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. He
dismissed allegations that the UN was hoarding food and
said the police
action of impounding their food was unlawful.
Kavishe said: "We
found it grossly unbecoming of the police to raid
our property, accusing us
of engaging in illegal activities when the UN is a
known independent and
global organisation, which does not harbour any
sinister motives, but strives
to improve the lives of all peoples.
"To us, it was a violation of
our privileges and immunity as a neutral
and apolitical organisation. We
have, therefore, requested the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to intervene on
our behalf. We hope the government will
react urgently and resolve the matter
amicably." Abednico Ncube, the Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, could not
be reached for comment yesterday. On
Saturday night, the State-controlled
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
reported that the police had successfully
busted a "hoarding scam" involving
The police were
still stationed at the UN storehouse yesterday.
Kavishe said: "The goods
confiscated by the police are meant to feed UN
workers and their families
resident in Zimbabwe, who will be engaged in
humanitarian projects meant to
alleviate poverty and hunger."
Some of the confiscated goods, such
as wheat and mealie-meal, have
already been taken to the Grain Marketing
Board silos by the police,
apparently to be distributed as food aid by the
Maputo probes claims of abuse at border
9/12/02 8:30:53 AM (GMT +2)
MAPUTO - The
Mozambican government has launched an inquiry into claims
border officials have abused Mozambicans crossing into the
country to trade,
a senior Mozambican official has said.
Soares Nhaca, governor
of Mozambique's central Manica province which
borders Zimbabwe, told state
television the alleged abuses were reported to
the Machipanda border area during his recent tour there.
now in contact with the government of Manicaland in order to
issue," Nhaca said.
He said Machipanda residents reported that they
checked and sometimes beaten and sexually abused by
guards. "I don't understand why they are doing this when we
have helped the
Zimbabweans in many ways, from their country's independence
war," one woman
Hundreds of informal traders cross
between Mozambique and Zimbabwe
every day, but Zimbabwe has tightened the
screws on cross-border trade amid
drastic food shortages in the
Zimbabwe's State-imposed price controls on basic foods
cooking oil, salt and other products have made those goods far
than the prevailing market rates in the region.
Zimbabwe has tightened border controls to stop the loss of scarce
products to neighbouring countries, while at the same time limiting
foods can be imported to Zimbabwe because of the government monopoly on
sale of grain.
Tongogara's brother held hostage in
9/12/02 8:59:32 AM (GMT +2)
Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru
JOSHUA Tongogara, a younger brother of
the Zimbabwe liberation war
hero, Josiah Magama Tongogara, is one of three
opposition MDC candidates in
Shurugwi held hostage at their homes on Monday
by suspected ruling Zanu PF
They were ordered to
withdraw their candidature in the forthcoming
rural district council
Lyson Mlambo, the MDC provincial chairman for
Midlands, identified the
other victims as Hlomayi Makotore (Ward 8) and Irene
Mafukidze (Ward 11).
Joshua Tongogara was the MDC candidate for
"The Zanu PF intimidatory tactics have reached alarming
levels and we
now fear for the security of our candidates," said
Joshua Tongogara, the youngest brother of the late Zanla
Josiah Tongogara, defected from Zanu PF to the MDC nearly two years
after the family said they felt neglected by the ruling
Their mother, Sukai Tongogara, who died in Shurugwi last
month at the
age of 92, had complained for a long time that Zanu PF, some of
freedom fighters her son led into battle against the Smith regime,
neglected her after burying Josiah among the very first heroes to
interred at the National Heroes' Acre in Harare in 1981.
PF made amends by paying all her funeral expenses.
candidates' homes in Shurugwi have been sealed off by
marauding Zanu PF
youths to ensure that they do not reach out to the
constituents. They are
being forced to withdraw their candidature before the
The elections begin on 28 September. Mlambo said Tongogara
received death threats from a group of Zanu PF youths camped at his
farm in Gamwa purchase lands.
"We have also received
reports that four other MDC candidates - Njere
Chou, Farai Sibindwani, Muhle
Mudewa and Deliwe Marima - have been summoned
to the chief's court for daring
to contest the election against their
headmen," Mlambo said.
weeks ago, 36 MDC candidates pulled out of the race following
from suspected Zanu PF supporters in Shurugwi, Zvishavane,
But July Moyo, the Midlands provincial chairman for
Zanu PF, said he
was unaware of any incidents of violence linked to the
scheduled for this month-end.
Anthony Chamahwinya, the MDC's provincial deputy organising
secretary who was
brutally attacked by suspected Zanu PF militants two weeks
discharged from hospital yesterday.
Chamahwinya was attacked at
Holy Cross Mission while distributing
nomination papers for his party's
He sustained deep cuts on the head and arms
and was admitted to
Driefontein Mission Hospital.
officials yesterday maintained that the attack was
Chikiyi, the Zanu PF MP for Chirumanzu, said
Chamahwinya provoked the attack
after he parked his car in front of a shop
owned by a Zanu PF
"The Zanu PF youths felt extremely offended and ordered
and his crew to drive off. Instead of moving, he started
attacking one of
our youths, incurring the wrath of other youths who were
Water weed problem spreading as wrangling
9/12/02 8:57:08 AM (GMT +2)
Chabarika Deputy Features Editor
IT is like a green carpet on water
- well-laid out and evenly spread
you would mistakenly walk on it thinking
there was a hard surface below.
This the water hyacinth which
has plagued Lake Chivero for years, and
is there to stay.
only unique to Zimbabwe as it is found in most water systems in
African Development Community region.
The origins of the noxious
weed in this country, is very interesting.
It came as a "pot plant" from
South America decades ago.The water hyacinth
produces very beautiful flowers.
By 1937 it was already in evidence along
the Mukuvisi River in
In Kariba, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) successfully
programme to control the weed on Lake Kariba through the
application of the
chemical 2,44-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4D) pure of
The chemical was sprayed in two complimentary spraying
was selected as the chemical option, with assurance of its
purity of dioxins
from an independent laboratory in South
The bulk of the spraying took place along the lake shore in
eastern basin where the weed was concentrated.
were also taken to avoid spraying close to domestic water
intake points and
other sensitive areas Chemical control was adopted as the
short term control measure while biological and mechanical
control are being
instituted as long term control measures.
Gache Gache and Nyaodza
river mouths were cleared of the weed during
the first spraying exercise in
August 1998. The second phase was in December
entomologists say biological control is the only sustainable
controlling the weed.
They say spraying, which has been used for a
long time, is
environmentally damaging because it destroys the whole
eco-system in the
The ZRA had recognised the
increased proliferation of the weed as a
national disaster and accorded its
control top priority.
An inter-governmental committee comprising
Zambia and Zimbabwe, was
Kariba Lake Captain (Inland
Waters) Levy Kusangaya says the water weed
is a thing of the past in the
"The weed was completely eradicated by the operation carried
the Zambezi River Authority. You must come to see for yourself and not
write while seated in your office in Harare," Kusangaya said on the
He said the water hyacinth was also under control at Lake
Harare's main water supply dam.
The existing weed in
Lake Chivero provided a hiding place for fish
from humans, crocodiles, birds
and other animals that fed on them. "Illegal
fish vendors from Harare and
Chitungwiza and other places find it difficult
to catch fish where the weed
is prevalent. They cannot use nets because the
nets will not go down into the
water. Thus, the weed is a convenient
protective measure," Captain Kusangaya
said.Water pollution on Lake Kariba
caused by heavy oil leakages from boats
and litter thrown into the water by
tourists, has now been curbed, Kusangaya
said. Kusangaya said his team had
acquired six new speed boats to patrol the
lake and take corrective measures
Although there were
more boats on Lake Kariba than before as a result
of more permits given to
fishing cooperatives, there was no overfishing.
A few years ago,
Lake Mutirikwi, the country's largest inland lake,
was threatened by the
noxious water weed after the Department of Natural
Resources failed to get
funds to buy weed control chemicals.
As an alternative control
measure the Department tried to use exotic
herbivores but this did not
Dr Ngoni Moyo of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ)'s tropical
ecology department, says he has always been against the use of 2,4-D
it was not safe in water bodies particularly those that had
He said the chemical was banned in Europe and
the European Union
indicated that member states would not accept fish from
Lake Victoria in
Kenya if 2,4-D was used.
Moyo says there was
very little support for the use of biological
control which entailed using
weevils to kill the weed.
Weevils feed on the plant over the years
and check its spread as a
result. However, there were reports that the weed
was flourishing in Lake
Chivero because the 2,4D chemical had killed the
Dr Moyo says the water hyacinth was a cosmopolitan
plant which thrived
in an environment which had a high or low nutrient
"The problem with it is that the weed expands rapidly and
provides a good high nutrient level environment for its growth.
can be viable for 15 years and it has vegetative reproduction
giving it two
reproductive strategies," he says.
The level of
the 2,4D in Lake Chivero, was negligible although there
were arguments about
Scientific evidence had shown that 2,4D caused
reproductive defects in
humans and animals.
A study by the UZ
had shown that people and animals exposed to 2,4D,
displayed marked changes
in their behaviour. It could cause disruption in
the reproductive system and
in fish disrupted hormones.
A strong opponent of the 2,4D chemical,
Professor Chris Magadza of the
UZ Biological Sciences Department has always
said the 2,4D used in Lake
Kariba was not pure.
"There are two
levels of toxicity. One is immediate where after
spraying people may notice
dead fish, while the other is chronic. The latter
is of major concern as it
has wider effects.''
"2,4D reduces amolia hormones in those who
drink water. These problems
are inter-generational and would start showing in
future generations," he
said a few years ago.
environmentalists and conservationists continue to advocate
control of the water weed, authorities turn a blind eye to what
seems a big
The more the wrangling continues, the more the hyacinth
grows. It is
here to stay.
ZCTU considers suing rival union
8:43:02 AM (GMT +2)
Congress of Trade Unions, (ZCTU), is considering taking
legal action against
its main rival, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions
(ZFTU) over alleged
harassment of employees and its affiliate members.
telephone interview with The Daily News, the acting
secretary-general of the
ZCTU, the country's most popular labour movement,
Miriam Mukutuma said her
organisation had, in recent months, received
numerous reports of harassment
and forced participation of workers in ZFTU
castigated the ZFTU for deliberate flouting of labour laws
saying the alleged victimisation of workers had reached
"We have a list of employees from all over the country who
to us seeking assistance over the alleged harassment and
the ZFTU," said Mukutuma.
She said in some
instances employees had their salaries deducted when
they do not want to be
part to the ZFTU.
Member affiliates, she charged, had already
disapproval and condemned the ZFTU's conduct.
"Given all these circumstances we are now seeking legal advice from
lawyers on the best way forward," added Mukutuma.
She said once the
ZCTU's lawyers conclude preparatory work, the labour
body would seek legal
action against ZFTU.
Labour experts and members of the public have
slammed the emergence of
saying it was formed by the ruling
Zanu PF party to counter the ZCTU.
Contacted for comment ZFTU president
Joseph Chinotimba denied the
allegations and instead castigated industry
saying his union, unlike the
ZCTU, had no support from industry.
Chinotimba claimed that the ZFTU enjoyed what he termed massive
the rural community.
"Now the ZCTU enjoys support from Harare,
Bulawayo and Chitungwiza
only. We are all over the country and serve the
interests of the workers,"
ZTA to guarantee $450 mln to farmers
9/12/02 1:08:54 AM (GMT +2)
THE Zimbabwe Tobacco
Association (ZTA) says it will nearly double its
bank loan guarantees to
smallholder tobacco growers this year under its
tenant-farming scheme despite
the uncertainty in the agriculture sector.
The scheme is aimed at
uplifting mostly black communal tobacco growers
who do not have collateral to
be given bank loans.
ZTA president Duncan Millar said the
association was pressing ahead
with the farmers' support scheme, even as the
key tobacco industry is unsure
of its future after more than 400 large-scale
white producers were kicked
off their farms by the government in the past
The 400 are among the 1 400 tobacco growers ordered to leave
properties, although most are still refusing to comply with the
A total of 2 900 commercial farmers are
being evicted from their land
by the government under its controversial and
often chaotic land
"We have not yet
met to agree on how much we will guarantee but I
suppose it will be more than
$450 million this year," Millar told the
ZTA's aid to the small-holder farmers last year was $350 million.
Under the support scheme the ZTA, which funds its operations
subscription fees levied on members, guarantees loans by banks
small-scale farmers and pays up the debt if and when a farmer
Experienced farmers who are members of the
ZTA assist as extension and
technical advisers and monitor the
beginner-tobacco-growers on a monthly
Millar said the
association kept tighter financial controls on the
beneficiaries of the
scheme, adding that non-performers were being dropped
Growers begin off as tenant farmers, growing up to 20 hectares and
graduate to the intermediate stage, where their hecatarage is increased
more than 20 hectares.
At this stage, the ZTA expects the farmers
to secure their own loans
According to Millar, seed
sales to small-scale tobacco farmers this
year have shot up 88 percent to
79.160 kilogrammes compared to 42 kgs last
From the seed
sales, the small-scale farmers are expected to produce
22. 6 million kgs of
tobacco next year, which is 92 percent more than last
The ZTA chief however said Zimbabwe had already lost up to
kgs of its irrigated tobacco crop, noting that between 8 000 and
hectares of the irrigated crop had been grown instead of the usual 22
Millar said total seed sales nationally, which are
3 percent down
compared to the same period last year, showed that Zimbabwe's
next year would fall to 105 million kgs versus 175 million kgs
He said this year's total hectarage potential was 58 109
compared to 66 832 hectares during the same time last
Zimbabwe's tobacco output has dipped in the last two years
record high of 236 million kgs in 2000 due to disruptions to
agriculture as a result of the government-sanctioned invasions of